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SUPERNATURAL by Richard Smoley

SUPERNATURAL

Writings on an Unknown History

By Richard Smoley

Pub Date: Feb. 7th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-399-16182-7
Publisher: Tarcher/Penguin

A skilled sampling of spiritual and religious subjects.

Though most of the essays have been published in the New-Age spirituality magazine New Dawn, their collection captures the restless mood of the last quarter of the 20th century—a time, Smoley (The Dice Game of Shiva: How Consciousness Creates the Universe, 2009, etc.) writes, when hope for a “massive awakening of society” once bloomed. Throughout his prolific career, Smoley has plumbed the depths of consciousness, transcendent thought, Gnosticism and religious history, and here, he turns his eye to subjects fresh but not unfamiliar to him and his audience. Skeptical views on future forecasting and of Nostradamus’ “spotty” success record are as pensive as his assessment of the hidden “secrets” of The Da Vinci Code. Though a lack of material evidence has kept the drowned, lost continent of Atlantis little more than a glorified fable, Smoley notes that it remains a cautionary reminder of potential eco-disasters. Most affecting and resolute are short appraisals of metaphysicians, the history of Masonry, light and dark magic, the popularized power of positive thinking, and a chilling chapter about a Swiss psychologist who believed Hitler, and Germany at large, was, at one time, possessed by a malevolent entity. Smoley theorizes how esotericism came into mainstream popularity through these brief but plausible interpretations of the occult and, though mired in conjecture, these subjects are truly spiritualistic food for thought. To the author, they present opportunities to increase consciousness and improve the world without leaning on prognostication and “feeling the need to terrify ourselves into action.”

A learned, highbrow approach to matters mystical and extrasensory.